CIT Bank Review 2022

A No-Fee, High-Interest Savings Account

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Are you sick and tired of paying high fees for banking services? How about receiving next-to-no interest on your online savings accounts?

CIT Bank is an online banking solution designed to address these complaints. It offers some of the highest-paying interest rates on both savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) available on the web. And what’s more, there are no account maintenance fees for CIT Bank’s banking products. Let's go deeper in this CIT Bank review.

CIT Bank Review

Commissions & Fees - 10
Customer Service - 9.5
Ease of Use - 9.5
Locations - 0
Savings Options - 10
Rates - 8

8.5

Total

CIT Bank is an online banking solution that offers some of the highest-paying interest rates on both savings accounts and CDs. Plus, there are no account maintenance fees for CIT Bank’s banking products. In addition, there's now an interest-paying eChecking account too. However, CIT Bank doesn't have any ATMs, but the bank will reimburse you up to $30 per month for other banks' ATM fees.

Get Started With CIT Bank

What Is CIT Bank?

CIT Bank ReviewNow, first things first. CIT Bank is not Citibank. (Yes, it is a bit confusing.) It’s not related to Citigroup at all. Rather, CIT stands for “Commercial Investment Trust” and has its roots in a company founded in 1908.

Based in Pasadena, Calif., CIT Bank’s parent company, CIT, has more than $50 billion in assets, and CIT Bank itself has over $40 billion in assets and $30 billion in deposits. In addition to online banking, CIT Bank also offers business services for small businesses, as well as a wide range of home mortgage products.

CIT Bank Features

AccountsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDs
AccessWeb Based, iPhone App, Android App, Blackberry App
Amount of Branches0
ATM Reimbursement
Online Deposits
FDIC Insurance
Customer ServicePhone: M-F 8A-9P ET, Sat 9A-5P ET, Sun 11A-4P ET; Email

CIT Bank Account Options

This online bank has a range of high-yield savings accounts, CDs, and an eChecking account. Here's everything you need to know about the various offerings:

Savings Builder

As mentioned, CIT Bank is known for its high-yield savings accounts and competitive interest rates. And its first savings account option, the CIT Savings Builder, is an excellent example.

This no-fee savings account requires $100 to open. You start at a 0.37% APY, which isn't too impressive. But if you set up monthly deposits of $100 or more, your rate increases to 1.00% APY. You can also obtain this rate by maintaining a balance of over $25,000.

If you're looking for a simple, no-fee spot to park some idle cash or your emergency fund, CIT could be for you. Just note that some online-only banks like Aspiration and Varo currently pay up to 5% APY, so you can find higher rates.

Savings Connect

The CIT Savings Connect account is a step up from the basic Savings Builder account. This high-yield savings account also requires $100 to open and doesn't charge monthly or overdraft fees. You also need to open an eChecking account with CIT bank, which I'll cover below.

However, this account currently pays a whopping 2.10% APY at the time of writing. You can also deposit mobile checks and easily transfer funds into your checking account for spending.

eChecking Account

CIT Bank's eChecking account is a no-fee account just like the other account types. At it currently pays interest on two different balance tiers:

  • Under $25,000: Earn 0.10% APY.
  • Over $25,000: Earn 0.25% APY on all your cash instead.

Earning interest on a checking account is nice. However, banks like Axos offer a rewards checking account that pays 1.25% APY and has potential sign-up bonuses. So, we recommend using your eChecking account to unlock the CIT Bank Savings Connect account, but it's not a leading standalone account.

Your eChecking account also provides $30 in monthly ATM fee reimbursements and supports mobile check deposits through CIT Bank's app.

CIT Bank Money Market Account

With a CIT Bank CIT Bank Money Market Account, you can earn a competitive interest rate and access your money easily. It's an ideal online account for building an emergency fund or saving for a large purchase.

Available For Taxable
Account Fees None
Savings Rates Minimum Deposit $100 – 1.55% APY

You can get started with the CIT Bank Money Market Account and also read our article on the best money market accounts for more options.

CIT Bank CDs

One perk of banking with CIT Bank is that there's a range of certificate of deposits (CDs) you can use to generate fixed-income.

There's a $1,000 minimum to open a term CD, and rates and terms are as follows:

Term
APY
6 Months
0.30%
12 Months
0.30%
13 Months
2.20%
18 Months
0.30%
24 Months
0.40%
36 Months
0.40%
48 Months
0.50%
60 Months
0.50%

Online banks like Capital One 360 have much higher rates for term CDs. But CIT Bank also has a no-penalty 11 month CD currently paying 2.50% APY. It also has numerous jumbo CDs with a $100,000 minimum opening deposit. The term CDs aren't very competitive, but you can consider the no-penalty CD if you want a more flexible savings option.

Term Minimum Deposit APY
11 months $1,000 2.50%

Other CIT Bank Features

The main reason to bank with CIT Bank is to use its CDs or high-yield savings accounts. But you also get other perks like:

  • Custodial Accounts: You can set up a custodial account, which will be held in the minor’s name, with you as the account custodian. You can remain on the account until the minor turns 18 (or as old as 25 in some jurisdictions), at which time the former minor takes control of the account.
  • Bank Calculators: Use several calculators to help you save money, prepare for retirement and even manage debt. Calculators are offered for CD laddering, mortgage payoff, emergency savings, college savings, retirement planning, traditional and Roth IRAs and several others.
  • Home Loans: CIT Bank also offers home loans in addition to various bank accounts.

How's The Customer Service?

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for both Online Banking and Mobile Banking. The bank can be contacted by email or by automated telephone banking. However, in this day and age, it’s worth noting that CIT Bank doesn’t have much of a social media presence. So you can’t expect to send a message via Facebook to solve any customer service-related issues you may have.

Is CIT Bank Safe?

Yes, CIT Bank is a safe and secure banking option. All account balances are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor.

CIT Bank Fees

This is the really good part. CIT Bank charges no account fees of any sort, and many of the fees typically associated with banking don’t even exist here. The only fee the bank charges is a $10 per wire transfer fee on outgoing wire transfers, and then only for accounts that have an average daily balance of less than $25,000.

Pros & Cons

pros

  • Numerous fee-free bank accounts
  • Earn a competitive interest rating with Savings Connect
  • Low $100 opening requirement
  • A competitive money market account interest rate
  • Get $30 per month in ATM fee reimbursement

cons

  • Low CD rates versus some competitors
  • Low interest rate for its eChecking account
  • No physical branches

Best Alternatives

CIT is an excellent bank if you want to use its high-yield savings account or no-penalty CD. It also has one of the best money market accounts right now. But there are some alternatives that offer more full-service banking options and better rates.

HighlightsCapital One 360Ally BankCIT Bank
Rating7.5/108/108.5/10
AccountsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDsSavings, Checking, Money Market, CDs
Online Deposits
Physical Branches
FDIC Insurance
ATM Reimbursement

Ally is an excellent alternative if you want more investing options as well as banking features. You can open an Ally Investing account and trade ETFs and stocks commission-free stock. It also has a managed investing option if you're looking for a robo-advisor. Plus, it has one of the best high-yield savings accounts with fewer requirements than CIT Bank has.

As for Capital One 360, its Performance Savings account currently pays 1.20% APY and doesn't have a minimum deposit requirement or any fees. We also like Capital One 360 for its custodial accounts since its kid and teen accounts both pay interest and don't charge any fees. And it has higher CD rates than CIT Bank right now.

Want Even More Alternatives? >>> The Best Mobile Banking Apps.

Summary

If you like high-interest rates on your savings and hate banking fees, then CIT Bank is a great choice. It’s even better if you are a small depositor looking for high rates, since you can earn as much as 1.00% APY through the Savings Builder account with the booster.

But CIT Bank is not a full-service bank. It doesn’t offer checking accounts, credit or debit cards, auto loans or IRAs. For the average investor, CIT Bank will be strictly a high-yield savings bank. Most other banking functions will have to be handled through another banking platform such as Ally Bank or Capital One 360.

Kevin Mercadante

Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids.

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4 Comments

  1. I want to share a cautionary tale.  We’ve tried quite a few online banks and thought we’d found a good match with CIT, which was great until a family member passed away.  As the executor / personal representative it took me THREE MONTHS to get the account fully claimed and closed.  All other banks I worked with had much less onerous requirements and it took only days.  CIT required an original death certificate via mail (pretty standard), copies of all beneficiaries’ IDs, as well as snail-mailed NOTARIZED requests for what to do with the funds – the only one that required this.  Speaking of beneficiaries, don’t designate them unless you have good reason to.  The bank couldn’t tell me who they were but also didn’t notify them, so if I had not had an Aha! moment and figured it out I’m not sure how long they would have kept money that wasn’t theirs, continuing to profit from it and roadblock the heirs.  If it had just gone to the estate the executor would have been the only one having to jump through their hoops.  On top of all this, of the dozen or so customer service reps and supervisors I dealt with only one, Sonja, gave me the impression that she actually wanted to help me.  The rest could only seem to read from their scripts, or in the supervisors’ cases act like I was terribly inconveniencing them.  So, questions I’ve learned to ask when shopping for an online bank.  One, check into their requirements to claim an account if the owner should pass away.  Two, what are the daily & cumulative transfer limits in and out of the account (this was one thing we liked about CIT.)  Three, check into their communication avenues.  CIT had both phone and email support but no chat option, and it took them about 5 days to respond to every email.  Others only have phone, and personally I prefer email for both expediency and having a written trail.  I hope this helps someone else avoid extra stress.  Settling the estate of a loved one is hard enough without bureaucratic aggravations.  

  2. Limited account options – Customers are offered only one checking account, two savings accounts, and one money market account. ? ? If those accounts do not meet your needs, CIT Bank does not provide any other options. Additionally, it does not offer investments, personal loans, or home equity loans or lines of credit .

  3. In relation to the artical about CIT online bank, I’ve opened up an account and am extremely pleased with the high yield savings builder. Only disappointment obviously is the yield went down from 2.45% to 1.80%. In your artical I seen for CIT 2020 the yield mentioned was 2.30%. Had the yield gone back up? Also check out my loan doctor high yield 6% CD. I think your audience would like to know about them and there offering.

    1. I hope you have continued to enjoy your account. I had one for several years and just close it due to the new system for getting online. It was too cumbersome and frustrating so I asked them to send me my $250K check and will deposit in other Online Accounts with more friendly Access Online.

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